I (Johnny) started the show this week by talking about two KDP Select promotions I ran for Fat Vampire and The Bialy Pimps . These promotions went very well, and led to Sean getting wood or something about some KDP Select ideas he had. So although we had another topic planned, we decided to bump it and talk about Select instead.
Here are some of the conclusions we arrived at throughout the course of this rather complicated and convoluted show, in no particular order.
1. Submitting your book to sites that feature free titles is worth it.
I used AuthorMarketingClub’s book submission tool to let a bunch of sites know that Fat Vampire would be free. As a result — and we’re sure this is only PART of the reason, but it did have to be part — the book went up to #90 on the overall free list and was downloaded around 2500 times the first day.
2. Pixel of Ink is still the big dog.
Of all the free book sites, the one you most want to get mentioned by is still Pixel Of Ink. Even though I didn’t submit it, The Bialy Pimps got picked up by PoI, and that drove over 2000 downloads in the first few hours.
3. But Pixel of Ink seems to prefer full-length novels.
I submitted FV, but tBP was the book that Pixel featured. This despite the fact that FV sells better, is ranked more highly, and has more reviews. I wanted FV to be featured because that’s where I have a funnel (more sequels to buy), but it wasn’t featured. Instead, they pulled my other book, which barely sells, out of obscurity… for the SECOND TIME. Our only guess is that they want longer books. (FV is around 35,000 words, whereas Bialy is over 120k.)
4. And this sucks for people who want to offer “full length” stuff as compilations of shorter works, but whose reviews are all on those shorter works.
I have a Fat Vampire books 1-3 bundle that should be long enough for Pixel, but it has no reviews, which would make Pixel turn it down. All of the reviews for the FV series are on the three books that make up the bundle. This led to a discussion too convoluted to go into, but it’s where the real meat is.
5. It may be worth it to end your promo on a high note.
For reasons I go into on the show, my free promo for The Bialy Pimps was cut short when Amazon kicked the book out of Select. The book was ranked at #70 free at the time, which is pretty high. I was bummed out at first because I wanted to see if it could climb higher, but I felt better the next day when I sold like 85 copies of Bialy — a book that usually only sells only a few copies of a month. I attribute this to the book becoming paid again while it was still popular, and possibly also to Pixel’s link to it being relatively “fresh” when the book went paid. I don’t know if this makes me want to cut promos off early, but it definitely has given me something to think about.
To view the video version of this episode, go to: Self Publishing Podcast #41 – Insights on KDP Select and Its Use for Serials